Candidate Q&A: U.S. Senate

2012-08-05T00:00:00Z 2012-08-07T14:59:24Z Candidate Q&A: U.S. Senate Arizona Daily Star
August 05, 2012 12:00 am

Questions

1) On jobs and the economy: How would you help bring more jobs to the state and make sure residents have the skills they need to win those jobs?

2) On border security and immigration: What should the principal elements of an immigration reform package be and why?

3) On the budget: Name three federal agencies that should be targeted for budget cuts to reduce our nation's deficit?

4) On national defense: Should we reassess our military commitments worldwide due to ongoing Defense budget cuts? Explain.

Wil Cardon (R)

1) It's imperative that we reduce government regulation. Overregulation is stagnating private-sector growth and making it nearly impossible for businesses to create jobs. Lawmakers must balance the budget, get aggressive on government waste and not spend more than this country takes in.

2) We must secure the border immediately. We must uphold the rule of law and not incentivize people to enter this country illegally with things like amnesty and lower in-state tuition. When those are accomplished, then we can focus on other issues such as reforming the legal immigration system.

3) Most of the federal agencies and commissions could stand to sustain budget cuts and certainly all need to be reviewed for efficiency and wasteful spending. Three examples are: the EPA, the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee and the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.

4) The nation's budget cannot be balanced on the back of our military. While we must always reassess how we spend our limited resources, we need to look to other areas of the national budget for cuts and not jeopardize our national security.

Jeff Flake (R)

1) The federal government needs to create a tax and regulatory environment that allows the private sector in Arizona to grow the economy and create jobs. Arizona has advantages that other states just don't have: a favorable climate, a skilled workforce, and business-friendly state and local governments.

2) Greater border security is needed along the southern border. Along with Sens. McCain and Kyl, I have introduced a 10-point border improvement plan, which includes border fencing, National Guard troops, increased Border Patrol agents, reimbursement to states for criminal justice costs, UAVs and surveillance, and more permanent and mobile checkpoints.

3) Budget cuts that ought to be no-brainers for Congress include agricultural subsidies, National Endowment of the Arts, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Amtrak. This is just a small sampling. There's a lot of cutting that the federal government will have to do to get our country back on track.

4) There may be places where consolidation makes sense, if it does not come at the expense of U.S. strategic interests. National security is the primary function of the federal government. If Congress begins taking our budget crisis seriously immediately, we can avoid defense cuts that would weaken our military.

Bryan Hackbarth (R)

1) Congress must do away with the IRS and adopt the Fair Tax System. With a fair tax, jobs will return to the United States, and it will jump-start our economy, and it will recapture billions of untaxed dollars currently lost to criminal and offshore businesses.

2) You can't talk about immigration reform until you secure the border. Let's stop getting ahead of the horse. Secure the border first, then we can discuss immigration reform, and not until then.

3) Department of Energy, EPA and the TSA.

4) First of all, I'm against military cuts while we are involved with two different conflicts. We must have available for our men and women every weapon and/or tool to protect their safety. After the conflicts are completed, then I will consider cuts to our defense.

Clair Van Steenwyk (R)

1) I intend first of all to meet with elected officials and discuss what laws and regulations need to be changed to make Arizona more business friendly. I also intend to attend business expos in California and other states to personally solicit businesses to Arizona.

2) Fence, boots and technology. We also need to deport all illegals, whether they overstayed their visas or just entered illegally, and cut off all aid to illegals including education, tax returns, etc. Illegal immigrants cost our country over $300 billion a year. There are fiscal issues as well as safety and drug issues.

3) All unconstitutional departments must be closed such as: Energy, Education, HUD, Commerce, Interior. This also would include OSHA and EPA. This would go a long way to restoring the U.S. to a republic and returning the sovereignty to the states, which is what the Constitution requires, and would save hundreds of billions.

4) We must reassess due to the Constitution and bring home our troops and begin defending our own borders. We also need to evaluate costs and discontinue programs and equipment both out of date and not needed. This would enable us to improve benefits for our vets and those now serving.

Richard Carmona (D)

1) We can start with small- business tax credits and hiring incentives to free up capital for job creators, continuing education and workforce retraining programs to help the long-term unemployed. We should also focus on veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan - nearly 30 percent of whom are unemployed.

2) Our immigration problems are complex, but the solutions are simple: secure the border, develop a pathway to earn legal status and enact the DREAM Act. Leadership on this issue takes courage and requires politicians to stop using immigration as a wedge to score political points.

3) It's a more systematic problem. According to the General Accountability Office, there are 20 programs within seven agencies that address homelessness, and 209 programs in 13 agencies to support science, technology, education and mathematics education. They have laudable goals, but billions could be saved by eliminating redundancy and consolidating costs.

4) We can prioritize investments while maintaining the world's strongest military. Currently, we are deployed based on Cold War policies and threats. I believe we need to re-evaluate where we need to be to protect national security interests and our allies, but I oppose Washington's "sequestering" of national defense programs.

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